Movie Review: The Purge

You read me, go hide now and don't come out till 7 in the morning!
You read me, go hide now and don’t come out till 7 in the morning!

Who would want to legalize murder and theft, and all kinds of crime for one entire night? Really? A citizen in his right mind would have signed a petition against this measure, no doubt. That’s not the case in The Purge, which sees the new nation, US, trying to improve employment rates, improve the economy, and the list goes on. In exchange, anyone can just go on the street and kill anyone they see, even if it is their love ones or their closest friends.

If you would like to read on, please note that there might be numerous spoilers from this point on.

Okay, the concept is most likely a fresh one, with crime legalized for one night, and all government services placed on lockdown while people either hide or go on a rampage on the street. Nobody can imagine a rich security salesman, who has basically made his house a defensive fortress, actually gets invaded right? Unfortunately, the Sandins aren’t in luck, mostly due to the troublemaker in the name of their son. If their son did not act like such an asshole, as to let the stranger in, and further make the situation worse by allowing him to hide to waste time, then perhaps the day wouldn’t have ended in such a disastrous way. Everyone could have survived (spare the homeless stranger), and the day would have ended like every other.

I came into the film thinking that the scares would come from the fact that those masked strangers are terrorizing the Sandins from somewhere near the start of the film. However, I was fooled, instead only seeing their house being INVADED towards the end, right at the climax. Before that, the show is boring, instead delivering little scares for a horror movie, and just spending all it’s time trying to find a stranger in what seems like a mid-sized house. Besides, I wouldn’t believe that the boy could drill an entire area right near his wall, into a big hiding space. After all, the mum’s mostly at home, right? What about me telling you that some of the neighours suddenly come together, killing all the masked man as if they didn’t pose a threat? Unfortunately, that is exactly what happens, making the film seem simple, and somewhat anti-climatic.

Great, I love new concepts, but one has to think of the logic behind it too- really, who would participate in this event if they know that their lives might potentially be at stake? To further add fire to the fuel, who would even agree to it? This show makes the government seem heartless, evil, and terrible, and it doesn’t stop there. Imagine the riots which would happen outside the white house just because such an agreement unfolds in reality. I don’t think it would be that peaceful, where everyone hides their thoughts about it. Furthermore, the goverment in this film is also shone in a bad light, allowing mad men to just kill the poor, or homeless, even if they are at a disadvantage. Really, how would this situation help when the citizens all hide in their house, sometimes having walls around their place, leaving the purgers with no one to kill? Wouldn’t these purgers just come out on another normal day, take their victims out unexpectedly, and result in a slightly lower crime rate?

This whole idea would also result in people who follow the law to start being influenced to kill. Just because it is okay to do so, and everyone is doing that. Even those people who hate someone but doesn’t dare grab a gun will just go out and snipe a head. And on the argument goes…

Instead of delving too deep into the concept and the problems about it, let’s just say that despite this film not deserving to be a horror movie or a hack and slash film, it still has it’s fair share of twists. I definitely love a sudden change of story. Aside from this, this film covers a fair share of lessons- one should not think that one is innocent due to his elevated status, while one should not despise people who are looked down upon, as they can prove to be an asset. Altogether, Ethan Hawke brings yet another fantastic performance to this film, though not as good as his appearance in Sinister. Lena Headey is also impressive enough, and rather tough.

The show is definitely too sluggish in terms of pace, being too fast at the climax and too slow before the climax. One would question the impression the trailer gives you when watching the film, as you would be disappointed when you are thinking it would be a cool, thrilling, scary, home invasion movie. This is a good enough product, yes, but not enough to keep in your mind for days.

With all these in mind, let’s just give this a final score of:

46/100

Entertaining enough, but the main questions are huge- the concept is questionable, the pace is sluggish, the development is weird, the horror movie does not really fit into any genre, confusing at times, and the trailers are deceiving.

Remember to check back soon for my grand comparison review between Olympus has Fallen and White House Down, combined.

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